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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: “It has to be perfect”

This past Monday I had the honor of being Illinois State University’s 2017 Lois Lenski Lecturer, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Leonard Marcus, Phil Nel, and many others. Intimidating, to say the least. The campus news team was on hand to film it. Sometimes when I am filmed, I like to watch myself with the sound completely off.  Naturally this is because without sound I look positively deranged. Try it sometime. Definitely improves the experience, you betcha.

Many thanks to TV 10 for the piece.


Yesterday I took my daughter to the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival here in Chicago.  Hosted by good friend of the blog James Kennedy, and co-hosted by the delightful Matchstick Castle author Keir Graff, the afternoon was a delight of original art by some really cool kids.  There were a lot of repeat offenders as well.  Take this kid Corbin.  Last year he did a fabulous video of Shiloh where the “beagle” was replaced with a “bagel”.  This year he did his own very original look at Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.  I kinda, sorta adore this.

Admittedly it has some similarities to his Star Wars bit on Crazy Eddie’s Discount Droid Emporium.  I care not.  He’s awesome.


Credit where credit’s due on this next one.  Travis Jonker has an amazing ability locating early Newbery/Caldecott Award announcement videos.  He just premiered 1999 and it is fascinating. For those of us who pack the halls to standing room only, this seems quaintly small.  Hey, look!  NYPL’s Susan Pine on the podium!  Hi, Susan!!  Now listen to the reaction when the ALSC president announces Snowflake Bentley.  That audience did NOT see that one coming.  Clearly.  Stay tuned at the end for Louis Sachar’s acceptance speech for Holes done at the National Book Award ceremony.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 10.18.39 PM

Fun to see what’s remembered today, almost 20 years later.  So why precisely does BookTV on C-SPAN2 no longer do the Newbery/Caldecott Awards? Beats me. They weren’t even in D.C. but Philadelphia that year.  Would love to know from those of you in the know.  Want to see other previous early recorded years?  Go to 100 Scope Notes for further information.


On Friday I received my first hardcover edition of my upcoming anthology Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.  It’s just chock full of a smattering of some of the funniest ladies out there writing for kids.  Amongst them?  Ms. Meghan McCarthy.  Now because Meghan paints in such a seemingly simple style, folks might forget what a fine artist she truly is. This foam cup she painted is just so cool.  You know what I like? Process. Process. Process, baby.  This is awesome stuff.


Up next, a trailer for a movie I’ve been dreading for approximately five years.  It seems like it’s actually going to come out now.

Oo de lally.



Next up, N.D. Wilson.  This is one of those book videos where you just go with the flow.

Basically, if you have a Tom Wolfe in your pocket then you bloody well play the Tom Wolfe card.  Am I right?


And to round us all out, what’s the only thing cooler than astronauts?

Astronauts reading picture books in space!!!!!  Oh, Andrea Beaty, you lucky lucky girl, you.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.